Jan. 7, 2004
Ex-MLB Commissioner
Fay Vincent:

Re: Rose reinstatement, Bud Selig is in a tough spot, but Vincent has eloquently emerged as the hero of the anti-Rose camp.
The Lead Item
Two Words For You:

In one bold stroke, Dan Snyder's rep has done a 180.

All it took was convincing legendary Joe Gibbs to return to the Redskins as the coach. Money was no object; authority shouldn't be. (Gibbs has reportedly already hired ex-Bills coach Gregg Williams to coach his D. Brilliant.) As a throw-in, Gibbs might even teach Snyder how to be a great NFL owner.

Gibbs' mystique is probably behind only Parcells and Walsh, if Tuna's job-jumping and Walsh's meddling haven't actually vaulted the low-key Gibbs ahead of his former rivals.

And unlike Parcells or Vermeil, Gibbs isn't going to some other franchise, but the one he led to three Super Bowl wins. That risk takes infinitely more guts than rebuilding some random dog.

NFL head coaches, as a group, are highly overrated: But there are a handful at the far end of the curve who have earned their Hall of Fame rep. Gibbs is one of them.

Thought there was a Skins frenzy when Spurrier came to town? That's nothing compared to this.

More Rose Fallout
Did you hear about the original name for Rose's book? My Prison Without Bars (But With a Direct Line From the Clubhouse to the Runner).

Whether or not Pete Rose actually bet in the clubhouse (as his former runner contends) is immaterial. After 15 years of Rose's lies, it's pretty hard not to assume the worst.

Others apparently agree: Support for Rose has dropped among Hall voters, according to a NY Daily News poll. As the most controversial issue to ever hit the Hall, instead of leaving it in the hands of the sketchy BBWAA, how about a national fan referendum?

Molitor, Eckersley: In
If I were Molitor or Eck, I would e-mail Pete Rose and say "Thanks a bunch for stealing our

1 Gibbs: Legendary Redskins coach could return to DC?
2 Rose: Who else will emerge to debunk Rose's claims?
3 Kobe: Faces most hostile crowd of year in Denver tonight
1 Marbury trade being about W's: Nope, it's about $$$'s
2 Rain delays at Wimbledon: Centre court adding a roof
3 Rose's endorsement potential: Still an iffy proposition
HOF thunder today. And, oh by the way, WE'RE IN AND YOU'RE NOT."

Kobe in Denver
Tonight's must-see TV: Player introductions for Lakers at Nuggets. You'll miss it? Here's a preview (the clean version):

"At guard ... 6-6 from Lower Merion, Pennsylvania ... Number 8 ... Kobe ... Bryant ... Boooo-ooooo-ooooo-ooooo-ooooo-ooooo-ooooo-ooooo-ooooo-ooooo-ooooo-ooooo!

Nebraska: Still Open
You know Nebraska's football program is in trouble when ... the AD is so far down the coaching-candidate depth chart that he's bringing in Raiders exile Bill Callahan, who would find college players much more compliant than, say, Charles Woodson.

Why does no one want this job? Could be a snob and say "location," but most of the great programs are in, um, hamlets. More likely, it's the long shadow of legendary coach Tom Osborne.

Marbury's Knicks Debut
Sure, the new-look Knicks lost to the mediocre Cavs, but I turned on the game -- my first NYK game all season -- out of curiosity. And that's the point.

More on Britney's Ex
"Reportedly, there's footage of. ... " (Is there a better phrase than that?)

Britney ex ("Ex?" "Annullee?") Jason Allen Alexander enjoys an extended run of his 15 minutes tonight when video of him participating in a quasi-"Fight Club" at a bar in Hammond, La, is released.

The first rule of Fight Club? Make a tape and store it, just in case a FC member ends up marrying Britney Spears.

Prediction: Alexander is the headliner of "Celebrity Boxing 3" within three months. Welcome to the "C-List," Jason.

Return of "old"
Kenyon Martin:

Speaking of fight club, who wants to see a few more rounds of last night's K-Mart/Corey Maggette brawl? Martin dissed Maggette's apology.
Today on ESPN.com
P2: Wiley crunches the NBA
CBB: Bracketology
IN: Rumor Central
Coaches We'd Like to See Make a Comeback:
Jimmy Johnson
Young enough for huge impact
Joe Gibbs
And now it's happening!
Bill Walsh
Or was it his players?
Marv Levy
Old, but could get it done
Mike Ditka
JK. Must be the Levitra ...

More NFL coaching: Dennis Green got the Raiders' first interview, but he smartly took a second with Arizona, applying pressure to both ...

From that real world to pipe dreams: ESPN's Len P reports that the Bears are talking with Nick Saban's reps. Keep dreaming, Chicago ...

Over-under on how many minicamp sessions it takes for new Giants coach Tom Coughlin to fight with Jeremy Shockey: Three, max ...

Catch Serena Williams on "L/O: SVU" last night? Only a few lines, but she definitely had on-screen presence (buff outfit, too) ...

Mets reportedly wooing Vlad Guerrero, but their money isn't nearly as large as the O's (whom Vlad obviously isn't thrilled about) ...

Forget the blurry college hoops Top 25: The top-5 unbeatens are Wake, St. Joe's, Cincy, Stanford, Vandy. 4 will be Sweet 16 teams ...

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